Comments | Mobile voting is not the solution to low turnout and disenfranchisement


In his June 5 article on Domestic Opinions, “Mobile voting in the capital is the next step in a long journeyMartin Luther King III urged the expansion of mobile voting for all DC voters to address low voter turnout, particularly in historically underrepresented communities.

Voting restrictions disproportionately affect already disadvantaged communities. The Center for Scientific Evidence in Public Issues has long supported responsible uses of technology to facilitate voting and increase access to the ballot box for all voters. But electronic return of ballot papers creates serious and unresolvable security holes at the present time.

in April 2020 Newsletter To governors and state election officials, signed by nearly 80 leading IT and cybersecurity experts, we outline the risks of mobile voting. These systems are vulnerable to the same kinds of hacking tools that shut down schools in Baltimore County and caused major fuel shortages along the East Coast. The rise in cryptocurrency theft shows that even blockchain-based mobile voting suffers from security risks. In 2020, the Department of Homeland Security, the US Election Assistance Commission, the FBI, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology jointly concluded that electronic ballot returns are “high riskAnd that “ensuring the integrity of the ballot and maintaining voter confidentiality is difficult, if not impossible, at this time.”


While we support finding solutions to address low voting, particularly in disadvantaged communities, current evidence shows that voting by phone, tablet, or computer is not safe or secure enough to ensure public confidence in election results.

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Michael de FernandezAnd the Washington

The author is the founding director of the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Center for Scientific Evidence in Public Issues.

Brooke Vargas

"Devoted gamer. Webaholic. Infuriatingly humble social media trailblazer. Lifelong internet expert."

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